Rights Group wants Sanwo-Olu to reopen Owode Onirin, Mile 12 markets

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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By Adeyemi Adeleye

The Centre for Human and Socio-economic Rights (CHSR) has called on Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to reopen Owode Onirin and Mile 12 International markets to prevent compounding economic hardship.

 

The President of CHSR, Mr Alex Omotehinse, in a statement on Saturday described the closure of the markets as a misplaced priority.

 

Omotehinse said that the reopening would avoid the unintended consequences on economic investments and livelihoods of overwhelming majority of the people.

 

He said, “We condemn recent closure of Owode Onirin and Mile 12 International markets by the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab.

 

“CHSR assert that the closure coming at the heels of recent actions that negatively affected the livelihoods of millions of Lagos residents in unfortunate and a misplaced priority.

 

“It should be instructive that the two markets are not only critical to economic survival of millions of traders across the country but also strategic to the supply of perishable food and vehicle spare parts in Sub-Sahara Africa.”

 

According to him, the group is aware that the two markets have, on many occasions in the past, been adjudged as compliant to the maintenance of clean environment.

 

He said that this was evident in the introduction of innovations and Infrastructural development that had tremendously improved the standard of the markets.

 

“We maintain that Lagos State Government in it’s quest to ensure that all market maintain cleaning and hygienic environment should not arbitrarily deploy closure of markets as weapons.

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“We must also consider that the state environmental agencies has failed to meet up with the expectations of traders in spite of fulfilling the necessary obligation to the agency in charge of waste disposals.

 

“We are aware that Mile 12 International market has featured as the best maintained perishable food market in Nigeria, thus serving as example to other similar markets across the country.

 

“We also wish to reiterate that arbitrarily and frequent closure of markets at a time economic downturn when citizens are barely coping with survival is ill-conceived and counterproductive,” the activist added.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Lagos State Government on Friday announced the immediate closure of Mile 12 International and Owode Onirin markets for various environmental infractions. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede

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